Every A/V installation comes with its own unique set of challenges, but just imagine being the integrator on a project that’s the first of its kind. Add to that the challenge of it involving 3D and you’ve got a job that’s not for the faint of heart.
The clinic is a unique 3D viewing facility that uses controlled lighting, optimized viewing angles and freedom from visual distractions to test what happens when people watch something in 3D. It is the first clinic that specializes in diagnosing and managing the eye and health-related symptoms when watching 3D displays.
The clinic was a three-minute walk from Chelsea’s office, says owner Ford Montgomery, allowing for quick response time in case of emergency. “When we’re dealing with a customer, we want to have a responsible, reliable touch point,” he says.
Housed in the clinic, which opened in October 2011, is a movie theater that measures binocular vision performance while viewing 3D content. Measuring binocular vision is important to help diagnose and treat eye coordination problems as the ability of both eyes, independently and together, must work simultaneously to process visual information smoothly and effortlessly with no discomfort - improving the 3D experience in real-life applications. To help drive the research performed at the clinic, Chelsea used about $40,000 worth of state-of-the-art THX-sourced equipment.
THX partners and other vendors, including Intel, Nike and Planar Systems, were instrumental in contributing to this project. THX helped source THX-certified products from partners for the 3D Performance Clinic including
Chelsea and THX also used high-isolation dry wall and sliding glass doors to make sure the clinic was free of distractions during tests.
Some of the deliveries were delayed, Montgomery says, triggering a bit more concern on an already-tight timeline.
“I scheduled something to arrive at a certain time, so if that didn’t happen, it could be a bit of a problem,” he says. “We always have a lot of projects going on, so if the timing is off, we could be booked out weeks after that. It was tough to do on such a tight schedule, but if you plan it right on the front end, things go much smoother.”
Several other universities have expressed following Pacific’s lead, says John Dahl, THX director of education and senior fellow. He’s optimistic that THX could again partner with Chelsea on such future projects or others, but says there’s great potential to learn quite a bit from testing people’s reactions to 3D.
“It could add a great deal of understanding on the consumer side,” Dahl says.